Safe, effective drug/alcohol treatment

All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

Everything You Need to Know About Alcohol-Induced Anxiety

Everything You Need to Know About Alcohol-Induced Anxiety

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva


The truth about using alcohol as a coping mechanism for anxiety will shock you. The reality is alcohol is a negative coping strategy. While many turn to consuming alcohol to deal with stress and anxiety, it offers only a temporary relief. In the long run, the withdrawals from excessive alcohol consumption heighten stress and anxiety, instead of resolving them.

If you have ever been a binge drinker before, you know the feeling. After a night of drinking, you wake up with a hangover. Except the hangover is not just a migraine or bout of nausea, it is the overwhelming feeling of anxiety. The condition is called “alcohol-induced anxiety” and occurs typically after heavy drinking. Some like to call it an “anxiety hangover.” You start to contemplate your life, and the feelings of despair can become so overwhelming that some turn back to consuming alcohol to relieve themselves of their worst symptoms. Over time, it becomes a nasty cycle.

Instead of turning to a temporary coping strategy, you need an anxiety solution. You must approach tackling anxiety head-first. Read more to discover the cause and solutions.

Alcohol and the Causes of Anxiety

The interesting thing about alcohol withdrawal is that it can cause anxiety on its own. Even if you do not struggle with anxiety, you can find yourself in an anxious ball after binge drinking. Alcohol-induced anxiety is already a problem by itself, but imagine the effect if you already have pre-existing anxiety. Those who struggle with an anxiety disorder will find their anxiety worsens after consuming alcohol. After the initial relief, symptoms return at high intensity.

There are various reasons why this occurs. Here are a few:

–  Excitable Central Nervous System

Your central nervous system controls your entire body, and when your body goes through alcohol withdrawal, your brain starts firing all sorts of neurotransmitters and chemicals. Your brain gets excited by the presence of alcohol. Continual heavy drinking puts stress on your brain function which ultimately increases anxiety.

–  Fear of the Withdrawal Symptoms

The fear of withdrawal plays a role in any major addiction recovery, and when it comes to alcohol-induced anxiety, the same applies. The feeling of alcohol-induced anxiety can become so severe that many resume drinking to relieve their symptoms. There are a variety of physical symptoms to alcohol withdrawal such as aches, pains, shakes, and headaches. Along with those physical symptoms are crippling anxiety effects. Therefore, some continue drinking to ward off the withdrawal symptoms. This behavior only contributes to the anxiety. The only way to heal is through seeking treatment.

–  Loss of Coping Skills = Higher Temptations

Alcohol makes it difficult to acquire strong coping abilities. When a person uses alcohol as a coping tool for too long, they forget how to cope with events occurring in their life. Stress is a coping skill. Alcohol dulls stress, so your brain no longer needs it to cope. Once the alcohol is gone, you may struggle to figure out how to handle stress, and severe anxiety is often the result. This makes it easy to want to return to old drinking habits; however, this only makes manners worse. You must learn new coping strategies to deal with stress and anxiety that do not involve consuming alcohol.

–  Alcohol Contributes to Anxiety?

While alcohol can cause anxiety for all of the reasons listed above, alcohol also makes anxiety worse. Those who drink alcohol regularly and are vulnerable to anxiety are more likely to have severe anxiety symptoms because they’re starting from a higher baseline.

That’s one of the main reasons that it’s so important to make sure that those with anxiety avoid heavy drinking. Not only do you lose your coping ability, but if you do decide to stop drinking alcohol eventually, the long-term consequences could be very problematic.

How to Reduce Anxiety during Alcohol Withdrawal

So what can you do about this? If your alcohol consumption has become unmanageable, the best thing you can do is check into an alcohol rehabilitation center. These places are equipped to handle the effects of withdrawal and coach you through the process. Alcohol withdrawal is a tricky business and it one of the few drugs which a person can die from. If you have been a heavy drinker for a long time, you need to seek the assistance of experts.

There are several treatment centers employ:

  • Slow Detox – Quitting cold turkey is not the answer. Most people need to get off their addictive substances slowly. The body responds better to a slow, gradual reduction. If you try and go cold turkey on your own, you may find the withdrawal symptoms too difficult to bear making relapse likely; Treatment centers help ensure that you are detoxing correctly.
  • Replacement Medications – In some cases, some medicines may be given to help with the effects of alcohol withdrawal. The most common are anxiety medication for those who struggle with the anxiety withdrawal symptoms of alcohol use. These drugs come with their risk of abuse, so it is so important to have a professional guiding you through the process.

After the Withdrawal Phase

After the withdrawal phase, you will learn to control your emotions and gain coping strategies. Addiction is a complex issue, but many people become addiction due to poor emotional coping techniques.

If you struggle with intense anxiety, you must get help to treat your anxiety. Alcohol only made the anxiety worse or creates it in the first place. If you want to free yourself from the feeling of alcohol-induced anxiety, you must be open to seeking treatment from a professional.

Recovery from alcohol addiction is not an easy process, and alcohol-induced anxiety only makes the process worse. Alcohol-induced anxiety occurs during the withdrawal stage from alcohol. If you find yourself in this wicked cycled, please reach out for help. The answers lie beyond consuming alcohol. Do not wait. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

TV Star Craig Ferguson Reflects on 25 Years Sober

 

TV Star Craig Ferguson Reflects on 25 Years Sober

Author: Shernide Delva

TV star Craig Ferguson recently celebrated 25 years of sobriety on February 18, 2017. He tweeted to his followers about his major milestone.

He said: “I’m 25 years sober and anyone who knew me back then would tell you how impossible that is. Thanks for the miracle.”

Craig Ferguson became a household name as the presenter of the Late Late Show which since has been taken over by James Corden.

In an interview, he acknowledged the start of his recovery journey:

“I got sober. I stopped killing myself with alcohol. I began to think: ‘Wait a minute – if I can stop doing this, what are the possibilities?’ And slowly it dawned on me that it was maybe worth the risk.”

During his years on the Late Late Show, Ferguson regularly discussed his days in active addiction in a humorous and commendable way.

For example, in 2007, when pop star Britney Spears was struggling with her own personal issues, Ferguson was one of the only late night hosts to not poke fun at her. That year, Spears was caught shaving her head and getting lips tattooed on her wrist. In case you do not remember, the media went berserk. Shortly after, Spears was checked into rehabilitation. At the time, Ferguson felt it was wrong to joke at another person’s expense.

“Now I’m not saying Britney is alcoholic, I don’t know what she is — alcoholic or not — but she clearly needs help,” he said.

Reflecting on Sobriety

In an interview to Times magazine in 2009, Ferguson explained that even if he was not an alcoholic, he would not drink. The concept of drinking without getting drunk simply does not interest him.

“The idea of having one or two drinks bores the ass out of me. If I’m going to drink, I’m going to do it to get drunk. If I’m not going to get drunk, I’m just not going to drink. It’s hard to explain. That isn’t necessarily what alcoholism is, I just tried to explain it as it manifested itself in me.”

Right getting sober, Ferguson admits alcohol saved him from committing suicide. In one of his most famous monologues, Ferguson talks about a weekend “all-night bender” that shifted the direction of his life. He woke up on Christmas morning covered in his own (or someone else’s) urine and miserable.

That morning, he decided he would commit suicide by swine-diving over the tower bridge in London.  He decided to stop by his favorite bar and that was when his bartender Tommy offered him a glass of cherry. One thing led to another and Ferguson says he forgot to kill himself that day.

“Here’s the important point: the alcohol saved my life. I was self-medicating. I’m an alcoholic.  I needed alcohol. I needed something…” he said.

After that day, he continued drinking heavily doing stand-ups and continuing his binge-drinking ways. Finally, on February 18, 1992, he called his sober friend seeking help and that friend helped him go to rehab.  After his 28 day stint in rehab, Ferguson says the work had just begun.

“I don’t have a drinking problem. I have a thinking problem.”

Ferguson finally understood his alcoholism and accepted that, for the rest of his life, he would have to stay sober.

“Certain types of people can’t drink. I’m one of them,” he said.

In the 2007 monologue, Ferguson concluded that the best way he copes with his alcoholism is through reaching out to others who have had similar experiences.

“I have found that the only way I can deal with [alcoholism] is to find other people who have similar experiences and talk to them. It doesn’t cost anything. And they’re very easy to find. They’re very near the front of the telephone book. Good luck,”  he said.

Now 25 years sober, Ferguson remains grateful for each day.

Ferguson’s Upbringing

Growing up, Craig Ferguson did not have the easiest childhood.  Born in 1962, he had the kind of dark childhood that often leads many to a career in comedy. He was chubby and bullied and he lived in Cumbernauld, 15 miles outside Glasgow.  Ferguson notes that his town was named the ­second-worst town in the United Kingdom, an appraisal he finds excessively flattering

Then, during a punk phase in the 80s, he played drums in a band called the Dreamboys. His band-mate, actor Peter Capaldi, convinced him to try comedy. He wrote about all of this in his memoir American on Purpose.

“Peter was the first person who told me that being funny was a gift and, when done well, was an art form,” he writes. “Up until this point, I had learned that being funny, particularly in school, was stupid and could get you physically injured.”

After a few false starts, Ferguson went back to the drawing board, inventing a character to play at a show in Glasgow. He decided to parody all the native über-patriot folk singers in Scotland and the act stuck. From that point, Ferguson was on his way.

Yet, as his career and comedy continued to climb, Ferguson’s alcoholism continued to drag him down. Ferguson spent his spare time draining himself with too many pints of alcohol. Finally, on that fateful day in 1992, Ferguson made the decision to get sober. That was just the beginning, and 25 years later, he understands his disease more than ever.

“I have an addictive personality,” he notes. “I’ll try anything a hundred times just to make sure I don’t like it.”

—-

Overall, Craig Ferguson exemplifies why one should never give up on their sobriety. Regardless of how deep into your addiction you believe you are, it is never too late to reach out for help. Do not wait. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Men’s Mental Health is A Silent Crisis

Men's Mental Health is A Silent Crisis

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about.
–Jonathan Harnisch

Mental health stigmas prevent those struggling with mental illness from seeking treatment. There have been significant strides to reduce the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Yet, when it comes to men, mental illness is often overlooked. Numerous researchers have stated that there is a silent crisis in men’s mental health. More awareness is needed specifically for men to reduce mental health stigmas.

Men struggle with seeking help for their mental illnesses because of the stereotypes and stigmas involved. Men have elevated rates of suicide and substance abuse, as well as low rates of mental health service use.  Mental health is a serious priority and there are reasons why men, specifically need to be motivated to seek treatment.

 3 Reasons Why Men’s Mental Health is a Silent Crisis

  1. Suicide:
    Men make up over 75 percent of suicide victims in the United States. Every 20 minutes, a man dies from suicide. Men living in rural areas and small towns are at a higher risk of suicide. States like Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico and Utah have the highest rates of suicide in the country. Alaska also has very high rates. The reason for this varies and has been attributed to various factors. One factor is the massive decline in employment in areas like manufacturing, forestry, and fisheries, leaving large amounts of men under-employed or unemployed in certain regions.A common reasoning behind this may be due to rejection from mainstream society, leading to strong feelings of alienation and isolation.
  2. Substance Abuse:
    Substance use disorder is high among man. Men have a rate of 3 to 1 when it comes to substance use compared to a woman. Substance abuse is sometimes referred to as “slow-motion suicide.” It often ends in premature death if left untreated. A variety of genetic and environmental components can result in substance abuse. High rates of substance abuse occur in certain sub-groups, including veterans, which are predominately men. Therefore, men need interventions in this area.
  3. Lack of Mental Health Service Utilization:
    Research reveals that men are less likely to access mental health resources compared to a woman. This is especially true among Black, Latino, and Asian men, who have lower utilization rates than white men, as well as women in general.Another explanation is that mental health services are catered more towards women and do not attune to men’s needs, especially minority men. Research shows that men prefer action over words in the midst of stressful circumstances. This could explain the popularity of interventions where men get together for physical activities while engaging with each other in the process.

What Can Be Done to Improve Men’s Mental Health?

Men’s mental health should be recognized as a social issue as much as a health issue. There are a variety of factors such as unemployment and familial disruptions that affect mental health. Secondly, there should be more options in the system with male-tailored options that respond to men’s unique needs.

Men tend to shy away from seeking mental health treatments due to the stigmas associated with it. It is important that more resources are available that appeal to men. Men have alarming rates of suicide, substance abuse, and other mental illnesses.

If you or someone is struggling with mental health or substance use disorder, please reach out for help. Do not let the stigmas behind your condition get in the way of you seeking treatment. We have professionals waiting to get you on the right track. Do not wait. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Study Proves the ‘Friendship Bench’ Program Improves Mental Health

Study Proves the ‘Friendship Bench’ Program Improves Mental Health

Author: Justin Mckibben

Remember the movie Forrest Gump? If not, I am so very sorry. Spoiler alert: it’s about a southern gentleman (Tom Hanks) who tells the incredible story of his amazing life to total strangers while waiting on a bench. He taught the world that life was like a box of chocolates, and that going for a run once in a while will change your life.

While on that bench, Forrest shares a lot of himself, and it has a pretty deep impact on some of the random folks he sits next to. Not to mention all the people watching the film who were moved by the experiences and emotions he shares.

Well this whole idea of making friends on a bench and soothing the soul by opening up to the strangers you sit with has taken new life in a place very, very far from the little park in Georgia that Forrest found himself in. The ‘Friendship Bench’ program in Zimbabwe is changing lives for those struggling with mental illness. A recent study proves that even just sitting on a bench and talking to a new friend can improve your mental health symptoms.

The Beauty of the ‘Friendship Bench’

The program is carried out by Zimbabwean lay health workers, who give brief but effective psychological treatment to the public. Instead of a big medical office, you find them conducting their problem solving therapy sessions on simple wooden seats. These health workers, or community “Grandmothers” carry out this practice with a personal touch in several major cities in Zimbabwe. The benches themselves are located on the grounds of health clinics.

The lay health workers are trained to listen and support patients living with common mental disorders such as:

The beauty is in the simplicity of the system, and the fact that it is showing to be so influential for countries where access to modern mental health treatment is limited or even nonexistent.

Studying this Solution

The study of the ‘Friendship Bench’ was published in JAMA. As a randomized controlled trial funded by the Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada, multiple sources contributed to the trials, including:

  • The University of Zimbabwe
  • The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • King’s College London

After a six month period, following six weekly sessions of “problem solving therapy” on a ‘Friendship Bench’ with a health worker, data showed a significant difference. The severity of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts was noticeably reduced. This is based on locally validated questionnaires:

  • The Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ)
  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD)

The Big Results of the ‘Friendship Bench’

According to the research:

  • 50% of patients who received standard care still had symptoms of depression– Compared to only 14% who participated in the Friendship Bench (based on PHQ)
  • 48% of patients who received standard care still had symptoms of anxiety- Compared to only 12% who received Friendship Bench care(based on the GAD)
  • 12% of patients who received standard care still had suicidal thoughts- Compared to 2% who used the Friendship Bench program(based on SSQ)

The Friendship Bench intervention was also shown to be well suited to improve health outcomes among highly vulnerable individuals. Out of all the ‘Friendship Bench’ program participants:

  • 86% were women
  • Over 40% were HIV positive
  • 70% had experienced domestic violence or physical illness

With CDN being granted $1 million in funding from Grand Challenges Canada earlier this year, the ‘Friendship Bench’ program has since been expanded to 72 clinics in the cities of Harare, Gweru and Chitungwiza (total population 1.8 million). The plan is for this growing movement to keep expanding. In 2017, the team plans to focus on extending the model to other vulnerable populations, including youth and refugees.

The Need for New Methods

Forgive me if my math and comparison is a little off, but I tried to put all this in perspective.

Zimbabwe has a population of 15 million. 25% of the primary care patients suffer from depression, anxiety or other common mental disorders. In a country with 15 million, there are only 10 psychiatrists and 15 clinical psychologists!

In comparison, (hypothetically) if even only 1/4 of the population of Zimbabwe suffers from a mental health disorder… That is still 3,930,000 people. Even if you could split them up between 25 mental health professionals evenly, it’s still 157,200 patients per person!

26.2% of adults over 18 in America suffer from mental health disorders. That’s 57.7 million people out of 318.9 million people (population as of 2014). If the United States had such a cripple mental health care system, it would be catastrophic.

At the end of the day, holistic treatment is all about healing mind, body and spirit through innovative and effective strategies. The value of sitting down with another human being and getting the support and therapeutic connection we need is paramount. Therapy can come in all shapes and sizes, and developing a unique and personalized treatment program can make all the difference. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call now. We want to help.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

One in 6 US Adults Report Taking Psychiatric Drugs

Author: Shernide Delva

Despite the stigma behind mental illness, the amount of people who take psychiatric drugs is higher than ever.  According to a new report, one in six Americans 18 and older takes at least one psychiatric drug. The most common psychiatric drug used were antidepressants like Zoloft and Celexa, while anti-anxiety and sleep meds like Xanax and Ambien were also very popular.

The report was published Monday (Dec. 12) in JAMA Internal Medicine. The report drew from data in a 2013 government survey of about 37, 421 respondents. While the analysis was limited to data from that signal year, it found that more than eight in 10 people reported long-term use. Long term is defined as continuing a prescription that began in 2011 or earlier, or filing three or more prescriptions in 2013.

This is not the first time the reliance on psychiatric drugs has been brought up. In August 2013, Richard Friedman, MD, said in the New York Times that “fully 1 in 5 Americans take at least one psychiatric medication.”  He also suggested that more innovation is needed to develop newer, better drugs of this kind.

In June 2012, an issue of the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology Journal questioned the efficacy of these drugs and why so many patients are prescribed them.

Brendan L. Smith wrote:

“Writing a prescription to treat a mental health disorder is easy, but it may not always be the safest or most effective route for patients.”

Smith delves into the history of the booming billion-dollar psychiatric drug industry. The initial FDA approval of Prozac in 1987 changed everything.  The support allowed more antidepressants to enter the market and soon enough, antidepressant use quadrupled and became one of the top prescribed drugs besides analgesics (for pain) and cholesterol-regulating drugs.

“Psychotropic drugs are valuable tools in treating many mental health disorders,” wrote Smith, “but inappropriate prescribing can cause serious harm,” Smith continued.

Conclusion of New Report

The report published Monday further exemplifies the growing acceptance Americans have regarding reliance on prescription drugs to manage common emotional issues, explained Dr. Mark Olfson, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University.

Antidepressants are not necessarily right or wrong. For some, they can be a life changer. However, in many cases, antidepressants can result in harmful side effects and negative reactions in individuals.

Common side effects of antidepressants include:

  • nausea
  • increased appetite and weight gain
  • loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems
  • fatigue and drowsiness
  • insomnia
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • agitation
  • irritability
  • anxiety

It is important to remember that antidepressants treat the symptoms not the problem. There may be underlying issues to address through therapy. Therapy and antidepressants together are the best treatment method for treating psychiatric problems.

When it come to your sobriety, the decision to take antidepressants should be discussed with a medical professional. The big book of alcoholics anonymous states “no AA Member Plays Doctor.” Ultimately, the decision to treat your psychiatric issues is a personal one and one that should not be stigmatized.

There are a variety of factors to consider before considering psychiatric medications; however, the decision to take them is personal to each individual. More and more people are making the decision to take these prescription drugs to treat their mental illness, so they should no longer be stigmatized in any form. If you are struggling with mental health, understand you are not alone. There are treatment options that can help improve your condition.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

free treatment ebook

Categories

Accepted Insurance Types Please call to inquire
Call Now